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Focus on the smallest details for a more mobile-friendly site

Whilst it’s not exactly breaking news that Google’s search engine algorithm now factors in just how mobile-friendly each website is that its spiders crawl into, many web developers and online marketing specialists are still finding their feet in this bold, responsive modern web, whilst others have already made a relatively painless transition.

Whichever camp you’re in, we’ve compiled a handy guide that covers some oft-overlooked details that, whilst seemingly minor in nature, can make a huge difference to the performance of your site.

Tap target sizes & spacing

There are loads of minute factors that Google considers to determine how usable a site is: But a lot of what it looks into is actually just good old fashioned common sense and usability 101.  Enter ‘tap-targets’: The physical size of buttons, links and other navigational elements of a site when displayed on a touch-screen device.

Solving the ‘tap-target’ riddle is pretty straightforward – all you have to do is start with the average human fingertip size (approx. 1cm x 1cm), then use that as a guide to inform all of your mobile friendly design decisions.  The ideal size should be at least 7mm x 7mm in width and height to make it large enough to tap easily, without taking up too much screen real estate.

If you have made all of your links easy to tap, you might find that a bit of tweaking will be required in order to avoid targets being too closely placed together.  Less is more, so you may have to limit the amount of tap targets that are on-screen simultaneously to a set amount that is balanced between wide-reaching navigation and ease of use.  In practice, Google recommends a distance of at least 5mm between tap target edges.

Page width

Does all of the content on each page fit on the screen at a comfortable size for easy, readable scrolling on a smartphone/tablet? By ensuring that your site reconfigures its layout to suit the dimensions of whatever device it is being viewed on, rather than just scaling the whole desktop site down to fit,  Google’s spiders will report back to the mothership with a favourable score and importantly, your users are far more likely to stick around on your website.

Loading times

In this day and age of responsive design it has become possible for websites to become truly lightweight, snappy and streamlined enough to load in blisteringly fast times.  When faced with sluggish mobile internet connections or devices with limited processing power, how does your website perform? Google cares about this – as will your users, so speed things up as much as possible.

About Graham Lyons

Graham is the SEO and Social Media Marketing Manager at Cozy Digital and the editor of the Cozy Digital Blog as well as contributing content for most of our social outlets like Facebook, Twitter and G+. Graham has been working in, and writing for the SEO / SMM industry since 2001 and is still as dedicated and passionate today as he was when he opened his first Website Design, Ecommerce and SEO company in 2004. You can connect with Graham and Cozy Digital via the social media links below:

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